Over the past couple of days have been enjoying our “new” grill. I actually purchased it from Sam’s Club last year on a special, and it has taken me this long to finally get around to assembling it. They are currently going for $349.00 at Sam’s Club which is the best buy by a long shot that I have found on them. Several places on-line will sell you one for over $600 plus shipping if you want to pay it – I didn’t. Since I took delivery on it at our closest Sam’s Club, there was no shipping/handling fee tacked on, shoot – you pay enough in taxation.
Right up front, I want to say that these are manufactured in CHINA, and while I had no *real* difficulty assembling it – I had to be very careful following the instructions and even with that extra care succeeded in putting a couple of items on backwards, then having to partially disassemble it to turn them around the correct way. Also, while this is a wonderful design, the sheet metal used is pretty thin. I will have to take good care of it in order to preserve it for an extended time. (Think things like “seasoning” the entire interior of the fireboxes and grates – extra high-temperature flat-black paint, etc.).. If this were manufactured out of stainless steel, it would be wonderful – but cost prohibitive, (at least for MY retired pay).
Here is what it looks like fully assembled:
With 4 different cooking chambers, that works out to be 82″ Long x 53.5″ Tall x 23″ Deep. Thus I nicknamed this one “Big Bubba”.
Like the old “Hybrid Grill”, this one has an Infrared “Sear Burner” (Left) – a propane grill and a charcoal grill, but this one also has a smoker box/auxiliary grill out on the right side. In essence, I am replacing our old grill and separate smoker with a single unit.
Here is what the “Marketeers” advertisement has to say:
The grill that has it all! An infrared burner to sear steaks and seal in moisture; the convenience of a three-burner gas grill that can cook 20 hamburgers at one time; a charcoal grill with an adjustable charcoal pan for temperature control and authentic barbecue taste; and an offset fire box for smoking and indirect cooking. This grill is perfect for large gatherings or meals for the family.
- Infrared sear burner with porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grid quickly seals in moisture for perfect steaks
- 3 burner gas grill with porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grids
- Porcelain-coated warming rack for delicate foods and vegetables
- Electronic ignition for easy lighting of all burners
- Charcoal grill with porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grids
- Adjustable charcoal tray and damper for temperature control
- Off-set fire box for smoking and indirect cooking
- Removable grease and ash pan for easy clean-up
- 2 lower shelves and 2 condiment racks for storage
After completing the assembly, I spent the next day “seasoning” the inside of the grill – first with vegetable oil, then later re-seasoned the cast iron grill grates with Crisco, the same way I season black-iron pans and dutch ovens. I also have quite a stock of High-Temp flat black spray paint from Home Depot to be used as needed. (I did already spray the expanded metal shelves already as they were not completely covered by the manufacturer. <spit>). Intend to go back and coat each bolt exposed to the outside whose coating was scraped by my Phillips screwdriver – also the rear vents on the propane grill which are known to be problem areas for rust. All in all, if I properly maintain it, we should get some very good years of service out of this grill.
For our first time using the propane grill, covered it with frozen grill patties to look for the (invariable) hot and cold spots. As it has been with every gas grill I’ve experienced, the right side of this one is slightly cooler than the left. Now that I know, I can allow for it – also will use that side as the “cool side” for indirect cooking. Also cooked off a package of frozen breaded chicken patties. Everything turned out good, now looking forward to some steaks, portabello mushrooms, etc.
Yesterday was my first crack at the charcoal grill. (See previous post). Have fallen in love with the “Adjustable charcoal tray” – I call it my “charcoal elevator”. Will have far better temperature control than I had on the old Weber style kettles, just as the “Hybrid Grill” had, but this design is even easier to operate, better leverage, and has one more elevation selection (now 6) than the old one did.
Finally, have some modifications in mind that I’ve already found on-line, (primarily YouTube videos posted by other owners of this grill). Most of them will be on the charcoal/smoker side to improve performance with charcoal briquettes. Need to make a run to Home Depot for some parts, but that will be another post later on. For now – I am a very Happy Camper with this new grill and look forward to a lot of great meals from it, all cooked outdoors.